MicroMillions III: The kost65 of victory in Event 17 ($3.30 Badugi)

Kost65 was in it to win it. A lead at the start of the final table is not a guarantee, and more often than not, the initial chip leader does not win the tournament. But kost65 meant to prove that theory wrong. The lead belonged to kost65 throughout most of the action, with the exception of the beginning of heads-up play. Focus was the key, though, and kost65 came roaring back in the match to control the action and take the title.


Some say variety is the spice of life. They say the same about poker. While the vast majority of players prefer Hold'em and more players are finding the joy of Omaha, others like to explore poker in the many ways it can be played. Badugi is one of those newer game variations that attracts new and experienced players alike. So, on this Saturday of MicroMillions III, they had the opportunity to play for a Badugi title for the bargain cost of only $3.30. The $5K guarantee was icing on the cake.

When registration ended and the tournament was in full swing, these final numbers were announced:

Players: 2,448
Guarantee: $5,000.00
Prize pool: $7,464.00
Paid players: 320

A lot of professional players pride themselves on their Badugi skills, but the members of Team PokerStars weren't able to run deep in this particular event. Team Pro Marcin "Goral" Horecki was the last of the team, and he exited in 756th place.

A few hours into the tournament, the bubble burst so that moralityplay became the first to cash out, taking home $5.29 for 320th place. Payouts jumped to $29.85 past the six-hour mark, and the next hour kickoff showed only two tables remaining. It took 40 minutes to get to hand-for-hand play. Five minutes later, inokentyi77 and DOPS13 got involved in a hand that led to a DOPS13 all-in challenge after the second draw. Inokentyi77 called all-in and had 5♣3♠2♦8♣, but DOPS13 had K♥T♦J♠Q♣ for the win. Inokentyi77 exited in ninth place with $54.86.

>Kost65 in lead, sk86 close behind

Action at the final table started in Level 43, with blinds of 120,000/240,000 and these chip counts:

Seat 1: kost65 (4,156,330 in chips)
Seat 2: sk86 (3,240,054 in chips)
Seat 3: Píerre (392,428 in chips)
Seat 4: pockjock999 (1,366,292 in chips)
Seat 5: uschi1933 (624,496 in chips)
Seat 6: 777glad777 (232,960 in chips)
Seat 7: DOPS13 (715,616 in chips)
Seat 8: FoOoXiK (1,711,824 in chips)

MMIII FT - Event 17.JPG

On the fourth hand, kost65 started with a raise and uschi1933 reraised. Kost65 called. DOPS13 was all-in by simply posting the big blind. DOPS13 and uschi1933 stood pat and kost65 discarded one, at which point uschi1933 bet all-in, and kost65 called. The final hands had DOPS13 with 3♠9♥7♦K♣, but uschi1933 had 5♣2♠9♦4♥. That hand beat the 3♥6♠8♦T♣ for more than a double-up. Meanwhile, DOPS13 left in eighth place with $74.64.

A few hands later, short-stacked 777glad777 was all-in with the big blind, and uschi1933 and pockjock999 each called. After uschi1933 took two cards and pockjock999 stood pat and bet, uschi1933 folded. That led to all of the cards bringing 2♠A♣9♣7♦ for 777glad777, but pockjock999 had 9♦5♥3♣Q♠ for the best hand. 777glad777 was gone in seventh place with $149.28.

Pierre doubled through sk86, but the short-stacked Pierre needed another. The all-in move came in a hand versus pockjock999 on the second draw. Pierre ended up with 3♣5♦9♥8♣, but that couldn't beat the K♥7♠A♣8♦ of pockjock999. Pierre bid adieu to the table in sixth place with $223.92.

Kost65 still in control

Uschi1933 doubled through FoOoXiK to stay in action, but that left the latter wanting a double, too. A couple rounds later, FoOoXiK pushed 37,216 chips all-in after the first draw, and kost65 raised, sk86 called, and pockjock999 called. Sk86 got out of the way after a bet from kost65 on the second draw, and all players stood pat on the third. FoOoXiK turned over T♠Q♣2♥9♦, but kost65 showed 7♥2♦A♠5♣ for the win. Pockjock999 mucked, as FoOoXiK departed in fifth place with $373.20.

Sk86 was the next to move, pushing 157,626 chips all-in before the first draw. Uschi1933 was the challenger and ended up with 3♦4♣2♥T♠, while sk86 collected 4♥A♣4♦3♠ and had to leave in fourth place because of it. The finish was worth $522.48.

A short time later, pockjock999 got involved with uschi1933 from the blinds. They each took one card on the first draw, and a bet from pockjock999 and call from uschi1933took them to the next draw. Pockjock999 stood pat, and uschi1933 took one card. Both players stood pat on the third draw, and pocketjock999 committed everything with 3♠6♣7♦T♥. But uschi1933 had 7♣4♠A♦3♥ for the win. Pockjock999 had to accept third place and the $706.39 that went with it.

Close counts for heads-up

The last two players standing started their battle with these counts:

Seat 1: kost65 (6,529,050 in chips)
Seat 5: uschi1933 (5,910,950 in chips)

Kost65 wanted the lead back and took it with a series of strong bets. With kost65 in front but uschi1933 not far behind, the two paused the tournament to discuss a deal. They agreed to these numbers, with an extra $100 in play for the winner:

Seat 1: kost65 (7,129,050 in chips) = $1,053.17
Seat 5: uschi1933 (5,310,950 in chips) = $1,013.00

Uschi1933 lost control from that point, doubling once to stay in action but needing more help. So the two players got into a hand that saw them each take two cards on the first draw. A bet from kost65 led to a check-raise from uschi1933 and call from kost65. They each drew one on the second draw, and uschi1933 led out with a bet. Kost65 raised, and uschi1933 reraised all-in. Kost65 called, and each player took one more card. Uschi1933 had A♠2♠4♥9♦, but kost65 had 8♣A♥2♦3♣ for the better three-card hand. Uschi1933 took second place and $1,013.00.

Kost65 won the tournament and $1,153.17 to go with the MicroMillions III title. Congrats!

MicroMillions III Event 17 ($3.30 Badugi) Results (reflects deal):

Total players: 2,488
Paid players: 320

1st place: kost65 (Russia) - $1,153.17*
2nd place: uschi1933 (Germany) - $1,013.00*
3rd place: pockjock999 (Denmark) - $706.39
4th place: sk86 (Russia) - $522.48
5th place: FoOoXiK (Czech Republic) - $373.20
6th place: Pierre (Netherlands) - $223.92
7th place: 777glad777 (Russia) - $149.28
8th place: DOPS13 (Ukraine) - $74.64

*denotes two-way deal with $100 set aside for winner

For any and all information about MicroMillions, including the current leaderboard and satellites for upcoming events, check out its main tournament page.

Jennifer Newell is a PokerStars freelance contributor.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in MicroMillions III